Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Revisiting and Revising

Happy Tuesday! As promised, we returned to the NY Times' WGOITP column in class today to get details on what was really happening in the picture that we studied and made observations about in class yesterday. When we revisited the page on the classroom iPad and scrolled down for the much awaited update, here's what we read (aloud and in unison):

                     "Ivory tusks from up to 1,500 slaughtered elephants, worth about
                     $30 million on the black market, are set alight by President 
                     Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya."

"OH MY GOD!!" gasps one student. Another student immediately grabs the iPad and hits the translator app to scaffold meaning for a couple of key words. "Slaughtered," he says, not perfectly--but I can easily tell what word he means by his quizzical, sad expression. We talk about why these tusks may have been set on fire by Kenya's president. "VERY BAD," says one of my more emergent EL's. "Elephants are very beautiful," he goes on. Yes, they are, I say. I share with my students some additional details supplied in the article by the Times, that the public burning of tusks was an effort to discourage poaching. After having a little fun with kinesthetic learning by acting out the word "poaching" while translating it into Spanish and Punjabi, we scaffold between L1 and L2 and learn some new academic vocabulary.

Is this similar or different from what you first thought about the picture? I ask my students. "Different. More details now," says one of my students."Protect the elephants," says the other. 

Short sentences, but their conclusions are spot-on. 

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